City Living: Holiday Cocktails

Ok, ok, we know the posts have been a
little booze-heavy lately but what do you expect? Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa,
Christmukkah, Festivus and every other culturally inclusive holiday can lead us toward the
liquor cabinet. That said, why not share these tasty holiday cocktails with your family and k
eep everyone in a holly, jolly festive mood?
Winter Pimm’s
Just when we thought we wouldn’t be able to
enjoy another fresh and delicious Pimm’s cup until next summer, Firkin Pubs
comes along and offers a winter version. All you’ll need is an ounce of Pimm’s,
half an ounce of brandy, 1.5 ounces of apple juice and a squeeze of fresh
orange juice. Shake all the ingredients together and pour over ice. Garnish
with a cinnamon stick or orange wheel (or both, if you’re feeling fancy).  

Pimm’s cups all year-round! Image source.
Mulled Wine
Evoking feelings of comfort, spice and everything nice, mulled wine is essentially a winter version of sangria that has been around since the 1800s (read: people have been drinking during the holidays for centuries). In a pot, add a bottle of wine (or two), two ounces of brandy, a dash of Angostura bitters (see here for where to buy), two or three cloves, three cinnamon sticks, three whole star anise, three whole peppercorns, a sliced orange and a handful of cranberries. Heat until steaming and serve punch-style or pour into individual glasses. Tip: use a full-bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz.
 Mmm, holiday in a cup. Image source.
Sidecar Reposado
“Tequila for the holidays?” you ask? Yes! Newly revamped REDS Wine Tavern has us covered for this simple winter cocktail. Combine 1.25 ounces of tequila, one ounce of Cointreau, half an ounce of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of egg white in a chilled shaker. Now shake it like a Polaroid picture and pour into a coupe glass. Top with lemon twist and a dash of orange bitters.

Tequila for the holidays, olé! Image source: REDS Wine Tavern.
Julep
This one comes courtesy of SPiN Torontoanother winter take on a Southern summer favourite. Can you can tell we’d trade in our jackets for jean shorts in a snap? Muddle three orange wedges with two bar spoons of brown sugar. Add ice, half an ounce of lemon juice, two ounces of peppermint tea, a dash of lemon bitters and (our favourite part) two ounces of Bulleit bourbon. Shake vigorously and serve in a mason jar topped with fresh mint and a wedge of orange.
This Julep is sure to make family dinners more fun. Image source: SPiN Toronto.

Hot Toddy
A classic cold weather drink, we’re sure Hot Toddies have cameo’d your holiday family gatherings. (Apparently they’re good for colds, wink wink.) In a mug, add one ounce of bourbon (but scotch or brandy will do too), a tablespoon of honey and two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.
Warm up with a classic Hot Toddy. Image source.

What’s your favourite holiday drink? Tweet us @rockitpromo.

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Rave: Songs of summer

We thought it high time that we introduce another summer playlist, with all of our favourite anthems of summer. Nothing beats a summer Monday morning like a new playlist.


There’s quite the range of songs here, something for everyone. Chances are if you happen to wander up to the fourth floor, you’ll hear one of these blasting. Check out our past playlists here and here  and don’t forget our running playlist

DIY – Eyeshadow Palettes

We’re avid recyclers, especially when we’re offered benefits for our good deeds. That’s why we’re huge supporters of MAC’s Back to MAC program, where you receive a free eyeshadow, lipstick or gloss for every six empty MAC products you bring back to the store.

We’re such supporters that we have many, many eyeshadow pots in our makeup bags. Many. The unfortunate part about owning so many beautiful shades is that they’re difficult to organize and keep track of. Meaning that the pretty new green we bought last week might fall to the bottom, not to be seen again until December, well past prime season for spring-hued shadows.


A random mishmash of colour.
Luckily, we’ve recently come across an awesome DIY solution for the disorganized makeup bag. Here’s how to get all your single shadows into one lovely,
organized and portable palette! 

Time needed: 45 minutes

Tools: 
15 MAC eyeshadows
Empty MAC palette that holds 15 (available from MAC Pro stores)
Flat iron (think old – something you don’t mind melting plastic with. Preferably not your Chi)
Wax paper
Knife
Safety pin
Tweezers 
Round labels (if you’re OCD like us and need to
label your shadows)

A smaller, less dangerous knife would also do.
Step 1: Arrange your shadows

Arrange the shadows
to be placed in your palette, and label your palette
accordingly. We suggest organizing by colour. If you have more than 15 shadows,
you can create a palette for neutrals, one for blues/greens, purples/pinks,
etc. (it’s quite addictive).
We heart MAC. Clearly.
Step 2: Pop out the base

Carefully insert the tip of the knife into the little space around the outside of the
container and pop the plastic case holding each eye shadow out of its plastic base. Go slowly. Be
patient. On the first attempt you may have a casualty, so start with your least
favourite color (save All That Glitters for when you’re an expert at
removing). 
Plastic base and shadow case.
Step 3: Melt the plastic

Heat the flat iron and place a piece of wax paper over the bottom to prevent the
plastic from melting on the iron. Rest the de-potted shadows on the iron to
soften the plastic.
Watch carefully. Fires aren’t cool.
Step 4: Pop out the pan

After two to three minutes, the plastic will be melted enough for you to insert
a tiny pin. There’s a little plastic nub on the bottom of each eyeshadow.
Carefully push the pin through the softened plastic to lift the metal pan. If it doesn’t insert easily,
return the entire thing to the flat iron for another minute. 
This step should be easy. If not, heat some more.
Step 5: Place the pan in the palette

Carefully pick up the metal pan with tweezers (because it’s HOT! – danger warning!). Place the shadow into
the palette into the slot you labelled. If you want, you can attached a small magnet to the bottom of the shadow. However, the glue residue from the original casing will be enough to keep it in the pan.
Do NOT touch with your fingers. Seriously.


Step 6: Enjoy!

Have fun with your beautiful palette! You’ll get a lot more wear from your shadows by seeing them all at a glance, we promise. Time to get to MAC to start working on your next one 😉
Someone likes MAC’s Rice Paper.

Lovely and organized. 
Insider’s tip: It can vary by store/salesperson, but some stores may give you a hard time if you try to Back to MAC your containers with the eyeshadow pan missing. 25 empty pans available online and a tube of crazy glue for less than $10. Just sayin’.

Rave: Magic Mike

When we were offered tickets to check out the premiere of Magic Mike (courtesy of Warner Bros.) we jumped at the opportunity. A rom-com combined with a good-looking cast about an all-male revue? We’re in. 



Off we went, popcorn in hand along with our good friend Paul to check out the flick. Below we give you a he said/we said review of various aspects of the show – as we don’t want to give too much away!

On Channing Tatum:
He said: “Loads of charm,
and a hint of that deceiving bad boy-actually-good attitude that just
won’t quit, much like his ass. Obviously, the best dancer and, yes, when he
dances it’s like you’re watching Step Up 2: The Streets one though.”

We said: “We didn’t blink. Between his dancing and abs, he had us at ‘hello’. Well done, Channing. Well done. Now, take your shirt off.” 

On Cody Horn: 
He said: “The role of Brooke (Cody Horn), The Kid’s sister and
Mike’s love interest, might as well have been cast with Kristin Cavallari. I
mean, I just can’t deal. Olivia Munn, who plays risky bisexual Joanna and has
an affair with Mike pre-Brooke, might as well have taken the entire lead to
herself.” 


We said: “Meh. She didn’t do it for us as a female lead. Between her permanent frown/scowl and no-fun attitude, we just couldn’t figure out why this (hot) stripper with a heart of gold was going for a girl like that.” 
Nudity:
He said: “There is a ton of butt cheeks, and bare chests. A few
boobs for good measure. But sadly, the only penis you get to see is almost out
of focus and in a pump. (Yes, a penis pump.)” 


We said: “It was done as tastefully as possible. There was serious eye candy and come on, we are talking about male strippers here.”


Performance
sequences: 
He said: “The ‘performances’ keep the movie afloat because – hah
– as if you would come for anything else. There are some bigger numbers, and
none will bore you. A big plus: smaller montages give a glimpse into the
various acts they perform, each based on traditional male archetypes:
firefighter, doctor, cop, basketball player, etc. Sometimes, you don’t even see
them take anything off. Expect something like this
 and this.
Actually, it’s more like male burlesque, and heavy on the funny factor because,
well, assless leather chaps.”


We said: “There was a great variation in the routines, which, as dance-based movie aficionados, we can appreciate.  We were particularly fond of their ‘It’s Raining Men‘ routine, with Channing’s solo act to Ginuwine as a close second. We went on a cross-country journey with these guys as we saw cowboys, Tarzan, and hip-hop dancers, (oh my!).” 



Story and script:

He said: Mike describes the appeal of stripping as ‘women,
money and a good time.’ That basically sums up the movie. What they don’t tell
you is that it’s set to a soundtrack of drugs, booze and dubstep. And the
conflict is forced at best because, well, just wait until you see the
ending.” 


We said: “Again, it was a story about a male stripper who discovered friendship and good times but more importantly, himself. Aww.”


Does
it live up to the hype/trailer:

He said: “In the era of easy access Internet porn, the trailer
promised the flick would be visually stimulating. And yeah, it lived up to that
promise in spades but with no real climax. There was no promise of a real story
either, so that checks out. But once it’s over, it’s over – just like the
trailer.”



We said: “We went in with lowered expectations, especially in relation to the story line. While the plot followed your standard rom-com format, it was a fun flick to watch, despite the whole Cody Horn element.”

Overall
sexiness:

He said: “I would have liked more screen time with the other
guys. Tatum is hot, sure, but you can only look at his face for so long. Also,
director 
Soderbergh sorely under-used Pettyfer and Rodriguez’s sex symbol
potential. And, as I’ve found with male stripping, sexiness is sacrificed for
humor because, well, you decide.” 

We said: “We agree with Paul. More Manganiello, Bomer and McConaughey would have been nice. We also thought Munn was lovely and would have been a better fit for the female lead.”


Final
thoughts:

He said: Soderbergh is Soderbergh, and he tries to
bring his trademark mix of depth, intrigue and action to a script
that simply can’t support it. You can tell he really tries to stylize the film
in his own way with his sequencing and camera choices, but he’s trying to reach
a level of intellect that no one ends up caring about because – hello! – ABS.
If Gus Van Sant directed this, now that would be some grimy hot realness and
we’d be seeing the full frontal. Still, it was fun in a way that Showgirls and
Striptease and Burlesque was fun.”



We said: “It was fun! Soderbergh brought us some good laughs, we danced in our seats, we (almost) cried and we had a good time watching theses abs. We mean dancers. Just don’t expect a sequel. However, we will want to interview Matthew McConaughey’s children once they watch it.” 


Haven’t seen the trailer yet? Check it out here.









DIY: Milkmaid braid

It’s an exciting day on the fourth floor – the launch of our first-ever video! Starring the lovely Andie and Natalie, they’ll take you through each step of creating an easy milkmaid braid.

What should our next video be about? Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below to let us know.

Fashion-able: Hot Nails for Summer

Come summertime, your nails are your greatest accessory. Hands are out of gloves, toes are exposed… whether you like it or not, all nails are on display. Today, we present a few ways we will be having fun with our nails this summer.


Neons

A neon rainbow!
Image source.

Neons are showing up everywhere and we love a bright neon pink or orange, especially on toes. Our recs? Summer Pink by Pixi Beauty, Neon Red by American Apparel, Glowstick by Orly and Orange You Hot? by China Glaze.


Caviar Manicures


Ciate Caviar Manicure.
Image source.

We’re intrigued by these texturized manicures involving tiny microbeads stuck to the nail. Not really appropriate for a regular day at the office (no one wants to be blamed for a floor covered in beads), this would be fun for a wedding or bachelorette party this summer. Ciate offers a caviar manicure kit for $25 from Sephora, or you can invest in a thick topcoat and package of microbeads (also called bullion beads) from a craft store for less than $10.

Nail Art

An Erdem-inspired manicure from FASHION Magazine.
Image source.

Inspiration is everywhere for
complex manicures that look more like miniature works of art than nail designs.
FASHION Magazine’s Nail Corner
has us in awe every week, while the f*ckyeahnailart
tumblr collects some of the most intense manicures from across the Internet. Try typing Nail Art into YouTube for step-by-step instructions – over
79,000 tutorials show up!


Cupcakes for your nails!
Image source.


If you lack a steady hand (or
patience, creativity, an unending supply of nail polish colours, etc.), you
might want to have a professional step in. Tips
Nail Bar
 in Toronto is especially good for creative, out-of-the-box manis.



Nail Decals

Regular nail polish doesn’t get this shiny. Image source.


Nail decals are another fun
option. “Protective coatings” for your nails, they’re basically
stickers that can last up to two weeks. A favourite of celebrities like Beyonce, Katy Perry and Blake Lively, Minx
Nails
make some of the craziest designs. A number of salons in Toronto apply
them, or you can buy a package off eBay
for significantly less and easily do it yourself. 

A design for every occasion! 
Image source.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips offer a similar
effect. You can get them at most drugstores, or at Winners, where they’re usually discounted by a few dollars. 

Ombre

Ombre nails in Tangerine – this season’s hottest colour
Image source & tutorial.



It was only a matter of time before the ombre trend moved from hair and clothing to nails. We’ve seen it done two ways: one nail with gradients of colour (like above), or gradients of colour going across all five nails (below). A great look for any girl who’s looked at her nail polish collection and realized she bought almost the exact same colour five times.

Only skill needed to create this look is excessive nail polish purchasing.
Image source.






Photo Friday: Neon

Because the warmer weather makes us drowsy, especially on Fridays, we wanted to give a new post type a whirl. Introducing Photo Friday, where we’ll post a Tumblr-esque series of photos that we love. Easy reading for you and fun for us. 


First up? Neon. 

Image source.